Monday, July 25, 2005

Speaking Of Tripods: I was really surprised to find that there is a lot of anti-Tripod Trilogy sentiment out there. Apparently, Mr. Christopher's books are sexist. Or are, at best, guilty of "outdated attitudes towards women."


As Orson Scott Card once said (and I'm paraphrasing), "No man can stand up to feminist criticism. If they write strong, tough female characters, they get accused of making their women into men. If they write feminine characters, they get accused of feeding into stereotypes."

There are absolutely legitimate concerns raised by feminist criticism. For example, I do not want my kids to watch The Little Mermaid. It's the story of a girl who defies her father, makes a deal with the devil, and in the end is saved by her boyfriend and father. She does nothing but stupid, selfish things and eventually the men in her life make everything all right.

I agree completely with this interpretation of The Little Mermaid.

Cinderella? No better. Mice save her.

Snow White? Dwarves and a Prince do all the work.

Sleeping Beauty? Same thing, without the dwarves.

But see, these characters are supposed to be the heroes of these stories. It deeply undercuts these stories that the heavy lifting is all done by the men. Any editor would reject these tales in a heartbeat today. "Your protagonist should play a greater role in the denouement," would be scrawled across the form rejection.

But the Tripod trilogy is about three boys. It's told from the point of view of boys. We see the boys' side of the story, not the girls'.

Honestly, it's been too long since I've read the books for me to do a thoughtful refutation of this. But sorry, folks. I ain't buyin' this one.

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